Rangers goalkeeper Allan McGregor retires from Scotland duty

Allan McGregor & Alex McLeish
Allan McGregor had become Alex McLeish's first choice in recent months

Rangers goalkeeper Allan McGregor has announced his decision to retire from international duty.

The Scottish FA confirmed the 37-year-old will focus on his club career at Ibrox after amassing 42 caps during his career.

McGregor last played for his country in a 3-2 victory over Israel last November.

"This decision was an extremely hard one for me to make," the goalkeeper told the SFA websiteexternal-link.

"It's a sad day for me to bring an end to my international career, but unfortunately I feel it is a decision I have to make.

"I am playing over 50 games each season, but I know my body and at this stage of my career I need to use the international breaks to rest up to help ensure that I play at the top level for as long as possible."

The news comes a day before Scotland manager Alex McLeish will announce his squad to face Kazakhstan and San Marino later this month in Euro 2020 qualifying.

"Time and again, he has proven himself to be a top performer for his country," added McLeish.

"His save late on against Israel was crucial in our UEFA Nations League success and it is fitting that he bows out on such a high.

"We will miss his experience around the squad, but we respect that he does not feel able to continue to represent both his club and country and wish him all the best for the future."

McLeish tried to talk McGregor out of retirement

Scotland first team coach James McFadden says he is "disappointed" by McGregor's decision to quit the international game, and says that manager McLeish tried in vain to get the goalkeeper to change his mind.

"I'm disappointed," McFadden told BBC Scotland's Sportsound. "Obviously losing a top class goalkeeper in Allan we're very disappointed, but we can understand his decision to call it a day.

"The manager spoke to him and Allan made it clear it's to do with his body.

"He wants to make sure that he's getting a rest in international breaks to allow him to play his club football and he's well within his rights to do that. The manager tried to get him to change his decision but his mind had been made up."